Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with nearly 5 million people treated each year. The good news is, most skin cancers can be prevented.
Here are a few simple steps you can take to help minimize your risk year-round and detect potential skin cancer early.
1. Protect yourself if you work outdoors
Outdoor workers often spend a lot of time in the sun, putting them at greater risk for skin cancer. If you work outdoors, be sure to use plenty of sunblock—including on tops of ears, backs of necks, and exposed skin on top of head—and wear protective clothing. And remember, sun protection isn’t just for summer. UV rays from the sun can still cause skin damage in the winter months, especially at higher altitudes or on reflective surfaces like snow or ice.
2. Get regular skin screenings and checkups
During a skin cancer screening, a primary care doctor or a dermatologist1 will do a visual check to help find moles, birthmarks, or other marks that are unusual in color, size, shape, or texture.
One of the most convenient ways to see a dermatologist is with Telehealth Virtual Care provided by Teladoc®.2 You can quickly get a consult via web or mobile app.
3. Make skin safety part of your lifestyle
There are plenty of easy and creative ways you can make skin cancer awareness part of your everyday life. For starters, you can perform skin self-exams, which are a good way to detect early skin changes that may mean melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer. You could also consider leaving sunblock in your bathroom, your kitchen, and your bag for convenient application (and re-application). And finally, you may want to consider buying sun-protective swimwear, clothing, and hats for safe fun in the summer sun.